Your gut functions in two major ways. A healthy gut will absorb nutrients from food and enable you to shed toxins and waste eventually by bowel movements. If your gut is leaking, the cells that make up your gut are allowing food particles and waste products to enter your bloodstream. Because these items don’t below in your bloodstream, the body attacks them via the immune system and creates an inflammatory response.
Why Does The Gut Leak?
The cells in the lining of the small intestine or gut are highly permeable; that’s how they’re able to absorb food. However, should those cells in the gut lining become inflamed because of a reaction to products such as gluten, the cells may no longer function effectively and can allow food products to pass from the intestine to the bloodstream.
What Causes The Inflammation?
Some inflammation can be caused by a newly developed food sensitivity. While the body may not produce a full-blown allergic reaction to some products, sensitivities can show up in other ways including inflamed intestinal tissue. Other sources of inflammation include pain medications like ibuprofen and naproxen.
What Are The Symptoms?
Some signs that your gut is leaking are localized; you may experience bloating, gas and pain. Other symptoms may appear on your skin as rashes, eczema and rosacea. Finally, some symptoms may show up in your mood. You may feel sluggish, depressed, or have a hard time focusing. Symptoms can be debilitating like Chronic Fatigue or Crohn’s, or they may be merely an irritation like cravings for carbohydrates. However, if your gut is leaking you are definitely not feeling in peak shape.
How Can I Repair Leaky Gut?
First it’s critically important that you determine the cause of your condition. It may be food sensitivity, a bad reaction to certain medications or a parasite. You may also have an infection. Depending on the source of your illness, you’ll need to be treated to remove the source of intestinal breach.
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Once your condition has been carefully diagnosed, you’ll probably need to change your diet and improve the biological make up of your gut with probiotics. L-Glutamine is a common protein supplement to improve the condition of the intestinal wall to reduce the risk of leaking again in the future. Foods such as fish oil, flax and avocado may be introduced as well to reduce inflammation and allow the gut to heal.
How Long Does Healing Take?
Depending on the severity of your condition and how long it takes to repair the damage through which your gut is leaking, you may be only weeks from feeling much better. Again, be gentle with your body as you introduce new foods. If the small intestine is severely inflamed, you may have an infection as well as a leaky gut.
Why Haven’t I Heard More About This Condition?
One of the great problems when your gut is leaking is that the illness looks like other diseases. For example, some sufferers of leaky gut have been diagnosed with arthritis and given pain killers that actually make the damage to the gut worse. Additionally, leaky gut can also manifest as celiac disease or an allergic response.
Why Doesn’t My Doctor Know About This?
While many medical doctors have a healthy respect for the natural healing process, others are not as open to natural treatments. If your current doctor doesn’t seem amenable to testing you for leaky gut, consider making an appointment with a naturopath or natural dietitian. They may place you an a restrictive diet for a time while your gut relaxes and heals. After this diet is over, you may be asked to add certain foods back into your eating plan to see how they make you feel. While great health improvements can be made by dietary changes, these changes may take time to appear. Follow the instructions you’re given and let your body rebuild itself.
Many of us are too busy to eat a healthy, consistent diet. As we toss more and more bad food, toxic medicines and poor rest at our immune systems, eventually things will begin to break down. Getting control of a leaking gut can be the first step to reducing inflammation and digestive problems, building a digestive tract that fully absorbs the healthy nutrients you’re now taking in and sheds the toxins you need to remove from your body.